CORONA DEL MAR — A rabbit ran onto the Corona del Mar High football field in the second quarter of the freshman Battle of the Bay. The sideline official turned to CdM Coach Jerry Jelnick and suggested a play.
"Give that guy the ball," the referee said.
The joke cracked Jelnick's serious face. He smiled and the smile grew one play later when one of his players was as elusive as the rabbit on Thursday afternoon.
Max Chozen caught a pass over the middle and then raced to the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown. The Sea Kings were on their way to beating Newport Harbor for the first time under Jelnick's watch.
The Sea Kings won, 33-6, ending Newport Harbor's six-year reign in the Back Bay rivalry. Did Jelnick expect a rout? No, but his team is off to a rousing 4-0 start.
"Any time we play those guys, it's a tough game," Jelnick said.